News

Sri Lanka: Ruling party MP dies and homes of politicians set on fire during day of violence

football souvenir colour
The Official Football Souvenir Store

An MP in Sri Lanka’s ruling party has died after a stand-off with anti-government protesters and the homes of a number of other politicians have been set on fire as violence escalated in the country.

The prime minister has quit and his younger brother, who is the president, is also under pressure to go as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation came hours after police used tear gas and water cannon on pro-government supporters who had stormed anti-government protest camps outside the president and prime minister’s offices in the capital Colombo.

At least nine people were taken to Colombo’s National Hospital for treatment relating to injuries or tear gas inhalation, according to a hospital official.

As many as 150 people were injured throughout the day, reports said.

It was the first time the opposing sides had clashed since an unprecedented wave of demonstrations took hold in late March.

Some protesters hijacked a bus used to transport pro-government supporters, according to a witness, one of several incidents reported in Colombo.

There were also reports of multiple attacks on the houses and election offices of politicians.

MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala died after a stand-off with anti-government demonstrators in the town of Nittambuwa near Colombo, a police source told Reuters.

Pro-government supporters were attacked in at least four locations as they were returning from Colombo, it was reported.

A Sri Lankan government supporter carries a national flag after attacking the anti-government protesters outside president's office in Colombo
PIC:AP
Image:
A Sri Lankan government supporter carries a national flag after attacking the anti-government protesters outside president’s office in Colombo
PIC:AP

And the houses of at least two mayors were also set on fire, according to police sources.

The prime minister’s supporters attacked protesters who had been demonstrating outside his official residence for weeks, hitting them with wooden and iron poles.

They then marched to the president’s office, where they attacked protesters there and set their camps on fire. Police used tear gas and a water cannon at the protest site, but not forcefully enough to control the mob.

A nationwide curfew has been imposed, on top of the state of emergency that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared last week in the face of escalating protests.

Nalaka Godahewa, a government spokesman, said all cabinet members had also stepped down.

A riot police officer fires tear gas to chase back the supporters of Sri Lanka's ruling party during a clash with anti-government demonstrators, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Image:
A police officer fires tear gas at supporters of Sri Lanka’s ruling party during a clash with anti-government demonstrators

Read more:
How shortage of fuel and rising prices affect entire economy
Sri Lanka ‘risks running out of food and fuel’

Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans.

Hit hard by the pandemic, rising oil prices and tax cuts, Sri Lanka has as little as $50m (£40m) of useable foreign reserves, finance minister Ali Sabry said last week.

The government has approached the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, and has been holding a virtual summit with officials from the multilateral lender aimed at securing emergency assistance.

Supporter of Sri Lanka's ruling party tugs a member of anti-government demonstrator by his shirt during a clash between the two groups, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Image:
A supporter of Sri Lanka’s ruling party tugs an anti-government demonstrator by his shirt

Long queues for cooking gas seen in recent days have frequently turned into impromptu protests as frustrated
consumers blocked roads.

Domestic energy companies said they were running low on stocks of liquid petroleum gas mainly used for cooking.

Sri Lanka needs at least 40,000 tonnes of gas each month, and the monthly import bill would be $40m (£32m) at current prices.

football souvenir colour
The Official Football Souvenir Store
Liverpool
Chelsea
Manchester City
Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
Leicester City
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Barcelona
Real Madrid

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.